Over the last month or so pressure has been building on the Chinese government to fully comply with an investigation into the origins of COVID-19, particularly data that could link the outbreak to a lab leak – or rule it out. Anyone who really understands how the Chinese Communist Party and all of its apparatuses operate knows that there is no way full transparency will ever be achieved, but still, we must demand it.
If that were the only pressure on the Chinese government, they’d ignore it just as they have for the past 18-plus months. But, based on the propaganda they allowed to be printed in the New York Times Monday masquerading as an interview of WIV’s Dr. Shi Zhengli, it’s clear that they’re spooked. The reason for that is most likely the revelation that a high-ranking defector has been providing data to the US Defense Intelligence Agency that confirms much of what Dr. Li-Meng Yan told the FBI last year – that the Wuhan lab is run by the People’s Liberation Army, and that the COVID-19 virus didn’t just occur in nature but was engineered by scientists at Wuhan. Those revelations were part of an exclusive piece RedState published Friday evening.
Then, magically, Monday morning the New York Times wrote about an “unscheduled conversation” with Dr. Shi, whom they caught up with on her personal mobile phone. Shi was angry, they reported, and decried that “the world” was “constantly pouring filth” on a poor, innocent scientist and asking for things she cannot provide.
“How on earth can I offer up evidence for something where there is no evidence?” she said, her voice rising in anger during the brief, unscheduled conversation. “I don’t know how the world has come to this, constantly pouring filth on an innocent scientist,” she wrote in a text message.
Based on the contents of the article, here’s what the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army want you to believe about Dr. Shi, her research, the Wuhan lab, and the coronavirus pandemic:
- Dr. Shi’s lab has never conducted gain-of-function experiments
- Dr. Shi isn’t a member of the Chinese Communist Party
- Despite reports, three WIV employees weren’t sick with coronavirus/flu-type symptoms and hospitalized in the fall of 2019
- Both Dr. Shi and the Chinese government have been fully transparent and provided all data requested of them
- There were no sources of the new coronavirus before the pandemic erupted in the Wuhan lab
- The RaTG13 virus, which is 96.2% identical to SARS-CoV-2, couldn’t possibly have been the foundation for SARS-CoV-2
- Miners who got sick or died after working in the same mine where Dr. Shi collected the RaTG13 virus did not have bat SARS-like coronaviruses in their blood samples
- Any assertions that the Chinese government or Dr. Shi haven’t been fully open and honest or that they had anything to do with creating or disseminating SARS-CoV-2 are speculative and “rooted in utter distrust”
Some of the above items are just laughable. Sure, such a prominent person is not a member of the CCP. Totally believable. (That’s sarcasm.)
How can she possibly say she didn’t do gain-of-function research? By changing the definition, obviously. Dr. Shi told the Times that:
“…[H]er experiments differed from gain-of-function work because she did not set out to make a virus more dangerous, but to understand how it might jump across species.”
So, jumping across species doesn’t make it more dangerous? Got it. That’s not what Dr. Shi’s research partner, Dr. Ralph Baric, said when their research was released in 2015. According to a Vice article, the scientists “created a hybrid version of a virus…just 12 percent different from SARS” from a horseshoe bat that “grew equally well to SARS in human cells” and “resisted all vaccines and immunotherapy too.”
There’s a great deal of speculation among those who believe the virus is man-made that the RaTG13 virus Dr. Shi and her colleagues identified in 2013 is the foundation for SARS-CoV-2, so “debunking” that “conspiracy theory” is a top priority for the Chinese government. At the very least, RaTG13 was being studied at Wuhan, meaning that Dr. Shi’s claim that there were “no sources of the new coronavirus” at the WIV is disingenuous wordplay.
Chillingly, Dr. Shi asked the NY Times reporters for the names of the three WIV employees who were reported to have gone to the hospital in the fall of 2019 after experiencing coronavirus/flu-like symptoms.
“The Wuhan Institute of Virology has not come across such cases,” she wrote. “If possible, can you provide the names of the three to help us check?”
Um, yeah, sure you haven’t come across such cases. For her to claim that the Chinese government wouldn’t know which scientists sought medical treatment and needed the help of US intelligence is just not believable in any way. We’re not talking about Medicare/Medicaid bureaucracy here. More likely, she’s hoping someone in US intelligence will give away some small clue allowing them to identify any potential US assets in the country. Given the timelines we now know about the defector working with DIA, the most likely scenario is that that defector gave US officials that information.
It’s important to remember that while she’s in China, Dr. Shi doesn’t have the right to free speech or even to make her own choices. But, she’s had numerous opportunities to defect over the years if she had any conscience about the types of research she was doing and how its results would be used by the PLA.
So, as Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech to his scientists in 2020, we must also remember that “Science has no borders, but scientists have a motherland.”